Question I bought a house recently. In the basement was an old safe with the Name Schwab Safe Company, Layfette Indiana. The previous homeowner stated the safe was in the house when they bought it in 1975. From what they gathered it was purchased in 1920's. It has been locked since at least 1975. A local locksmith can open it, but will destroy the door. Plus he charges way too much. To your knowledge is there old records that might have the combonation or a way to open it. It pains me to know that some history might be in there. Thanks for any help or advice.
Answer Hi Tommy,
This is one of the reasons that I NEVER recommend using locksmiths for safe work.
You wouldn't consider taking your car to a mechanic who would indicate that he can change your oil but will ruin the motor doing so, similarly you shouldn't ask anyone to open your safe who indicates that they can do it but will ruin it!
You need a safe technician from a local safe company.
As far as records go - the Schwab Safe Company was acquired by the Sentry group in 2008. In general, they only maintain the last 10 years worth of records. You can contact them if you wish to see what they have, however they usually charge an administrative fee of around $50-$100 and there are no guarantees. In this case I would recommend saving your money if you are going to have to pay someone to open it anyway.
Cost will vary through out the country but you shouldn't be paying more than around $250 to $350 to have it opened - opened AND repaired (operational) should be in the $350 to $500 range AND assumes that it is already a working safe - just without the combination.
I had a guy the other day who neglected to tell me the safe had been sitting outside for over 10 years, and in addition to not having a combination, the thing was rusted shut! Having the safe opened is NOT a restoration job.
I would recommend discussing any fees with your safe company to determine EXACTLY what you are paying for and what you should expect for services. If you have any questions, feel free to run it by me first, but again - anyone indicating ruining and/or destroying the safe doesn't know what they are doing and shouldn't be paid for this type work.
Check your local yellow pages under safes & vaults for a local company. If you don't have one, let me know where you are located (zip code) and I'll see who I might know or recommend in your area.
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Thanks for the info. It is a big help. I will let you know what I decide. It is a good conversation piece.
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